Monday, November 3, 2014

I wonder why?


Last year I conquered the dreaded empty plant hook issue with winter-weather appropriate containers. While I loved the hanging device I grew to dislike the containers themselves, so I'd been on the lookout for something new. Instead I spotted these at IKEA. I've been on a woven textural kick lately so I instantly adored them. Plus they were cheap.

The inside was non-draining, but that's nothing a small sledge hammer and big nail can't take care of. Obviously the woven material (it's actually water hyacinth, according to their website) will soak up the rain, but I'm only asking them to last a season, and maybe they'll start to grow moss like my coir doormat does. The lines they're hanging from seemed to have acrylic in them but now I see it's just jute, hopefully they won't rot in just one season.

So here's the finished product. Which brings me to the title of this post...I wonder why? I am the poster child for "one pot, one plant" I do not like mixed plantings. Ever. Yet for two years in a row I've done them here, in my winter hanging containers. Why?

Both containers have an Agave franzosinii, Agave funkiana 'fatal attraction', and Muehlenbeckia axillaris...

Agave franzosinii is hardy to 15-20° F (in the ground)

Agave funkiana 'fatal attraction' is also hardy to 15-20° F  (in the ground)

And that Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Creeping Wire Vine) is basically able to take over the world as long as it's grown in Zone 6 or above. So I've been thinking about my clashing opinions about mixed containers. I wonder if it's a need to have a mini garden close at hand, one that I can observe multiple times a day as I come and go? (at a time of the year when my regular gardening interactions are limited). That's got to be it, right?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

28 comments:

  1. Really, all it took was a sledgehammer and a nail? The non-draining thing has been my problem with buying containers at Ikea. They never have drainage holes. I love the cute combo you created for these. I've actually been thinking next year I'm going to try sticking with one plant, one pot. I've done combos in the past and find that often the best looking plant doesn't get the attention it deserves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The liner was a sort of heavy plastic Alison, so ya, it wasn't hard. I thought it might shatter but luckily it didn't. Have you ever used a tile/pottery drill bit to make a hole in a ceramic container? It's really easy and I've never had one break on me, even the cheap ones from IKEA.

      Delete
  2. I've learned to never say never. Like you, I prefer one plant per pot (or at least one species per pot) but I have a few multi-plant arrangements I really like. In any case, I think your hanging pots are awesome. You'll get a lot of enjoyment out of them, and if the containers fall apart, it won't be the end of the world.

    Those 'Fatal Attraction' are cool. I lost mine to rot last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah the "r" word. Of course the heavy rains started the day I hung these up and haven't let up since...

      Delete
  3. A little variety from your norm never did harm ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. With a pot seated on the ground you can create an arrangement but arraying other pots around it but not so with a hanging pot? Whatever the explanation, your new hanging pots look great! I love that Agave funkiana - I haven't seen that one before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you may be on to something there Kris, very astute observation!

      Delete
  5. I love the red edge on the agave, and the containers look good too!
    I know agaves can take the cold but mine tend to curl up their toes and die if they get wet feet! You must have drier winters than we do here in the uk, as the only way I can tempt mine to survive the worst months is by installing them in the greenhouse. Even then I managed to lose some last year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, they don't like the wet. We get quite a bit of rain in the fall and winter, October came in at something like 5.78" I believe. I mixed a lot of grit in with the soil to help with drainage, hopefully enough. We shall see!

      Delete
  6. Winter planters. Now there's a fine idea. They are great. I think I may need to search out those two agaves if they are hardy to such a low temperature. A. funkiana looks similar A. lophantha. Does it grow large and does it pup?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had another (larger) A. funkiana for years in a container, not a single pup and no growth either. Then again who knows what it might do in the ground...

      Delete
  7. You just have to love something named "Fatal Attraction", don't you? I think you've pulled together a winning trio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vicki, and yes...of course I do!

      Delete
  8. I agree with your analysis Dr. Bohl, combination pots for winter for a daily quick garden fix. Your new hanging gardens are beautiful and look great with your garage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sir, speaking of garage I just love how yours is coming along.

      Delete
  9. You keep coming up with these great finds from Ikea and when I go there I find exactly...nothing! Oh well, it's probably because it's usually tacked on to the beginning or end of a trip to the airport and you know how that can fry the mind. Everything (bright or subdued) looks good agains your house color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A trip to IKEA is always hit or miss, I'm lucky to be so close so it's easy to drop in - especially during the less crowded times of the day/week.

      Delete
  10. Regarding the multi-plant groupings, I think you just like to keep us guessing. Would you plan to take those very attractive pots into the garage or somewhere protected if a freezing spell is forecast? I'd hate to see those 'Fatal Attraction' have a fatal freeze.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh definitely, they'll be whisked away to warmth if the temperature dives!

      Delete
  11. I love the combo and the containers! All rules need exceptions, so I see no contradiction in having some combo planters. That Agave funkiana 'Fatal Attraction ' is a real winner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah...an agave compliment from a non-agave guy, this makes me happy! Here is hope.

      Delete
  12. I think you realize subconsciously that the more you can cram into these pots to distract the viewer, the more dangerous these eye-level agaves become. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! You might be on to something.

      Delete
  13. I think it's because in that particular spot with two small hanging planters, it would look too sparse with just one plant in each. It looks great just as you've done it, with something that will dangle down, and then something with a little bit of height. Also the reason you said. But mostly 'cause you have a great eye for nice compositions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy, you are very kind.

      Delete
  14. Well, even if you go out of your norm it looks really good...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can one go wrong with agaves, right?

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!